View Full Version : The Character-A-Fortnight Event : CAFÉ 001

03 March 2007, 10:22 AM

CAFÉ 001

"Take something organic and turn it into something mechanical."

Story starter – "The whirring of cogs and the humming of moving parts reverberate in the darkened passageway. I can see blinking lights casting their illumination on the walls ahead. My breathing quickens as I turn the next corner… THERE IT IS!"


Manifesto: The anatomy forum CAFÉ - A place to meet, share your concepts, ideas and work, and then discuss your solutions to the brief with like minded individuals (Bring your own coffee though...)

The purpose of this ongoing workshop series is to develop original character artwork in both 2D and 3D. A theme or brief will be given at the inception point of the workshop, and the project will be executed by the participants during a 2 week period. To have your own idea from the set brief, develop it in 2 dimensions and then execute it in 3 dimensions is very challenging, (especially within the time period,) and helps the artist to understand form “in the round.”

If you are thinking of taking your ideas into 3 dimensions, please decide on a suitable polygon budget (for games/TV/film or as much as your computer can handle!) If you are unsure, please enquire on the workshop and others will try and help. The workshop is application independent, and so anyone can try it. For those of you who would like to try 3d but do not have a package, blender ( ( ) is a very high standard open source 3d application that is free to download and use. However, this will take time to learn.

Duration of projects: 2 Weeks.

Breakdown: (guidelines only – depends on the complexity of the idea and model.)

Concept development and realization - 1 week.*

Model development and texture art - 1 week.*

* You can split up your time however you wish - to reflect the area that you want to work in the most, for example.

The above guidelines are intensive and will require a lot of work. Please look at the amount of time you have available for each project before trying to take on too much. Quality artwork and developing your creative problem solving skills are key here, along with learning how others handled the same brief in conceptual and technical terms.


These are guidelines only. You can do all the sections or just choose the areas you feel most comfortable with. If you wish to use another persons concept art for a model, then please seek permission to do so from the user. If you just want to create the concept art and don’t mind others using your art work for a fully realized character, please state so in your post. If you are having trouble with an area, please shout up and others will try to help out as best they can.

WIP is encouraged, and please help others by providing your thoughts on their solutions in a positive manner. Discouragement of others will not help anyone as we are all here to get better, and people bring different skills to the table.

1. Concept art >>>

Final presentation art (full body character pose, head and image plane orthographics.)

2. Model >>> (high poly cinematic or lower poly real time games character)

Base model (untextured)
Final model (with textures)

Learning outcomes:

How to develop ideas and a final character from a written brief.
Creative problem solving.
How to demonstrate your ideas to others.
Taking 2d artwork in to 3d artwork.
Texture art.
Visual communication skills.


1. Work created here MUST be ORIGINAL TO THE CREATOR and for the purpose of serious study of character art and design. Those who post silly or off topic work will have their posts deleted immediately and will no longer be allowed to post on this thread. Rebecca Kimmel reserves the right to determine which pieces are considered to be in poor taste and / or disrespectful in the workshop.

2. This Workshop will run in 2 WEEK slots.

3. There is NO LIMIT to the NUMBER of posts an artist may make. However, we ask that you post only work which you feel best represents your ideas and important design points you feel others should know about during your character development, even if it is considered unfinished.

4. Artists who post comments and critiques of other artists' work on this thread must be RESPECTFUL, POLITE, and offer CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM. Flaming will be NOT be tolerated, and constitutes dismissal from this and other threads.

5. Mike/default.rol and Rebecca Kimmel will be offering the occasional comments / critique ~ however, the main focus of the Workshop should be on Group Critique and interaction.

6. ANY MEDIUM or STYLE may be used: Traditional or Digital Drawing or Painting, Sculpture, or 3D Model / Render for the initial stages. Development beyond the initial character idea (stage 2) should be done in a 3D application of your choice.

7. Please limit the SIZE of your POSTS to 800 pixels WIDTH x Appropriate pixel LENGTH. No huge posts, please! (you are welcome to offer remote links to high resolution versions of your art work along side images that are of an appropriate size, if you so wish.)

8. Have fun, enjoy, and create great art!

03 March 2007, 10:23 AM
For those of you slightly confused by the terminology, a fortnight is 14 nights in duration. Here is a definition of it from Wikipedia.

A fortnight is a unit of time ( equal to two weeks ( that is 14 days (, or literally 14 nights. The term is common in the British Isles ( and many Commonwealth countries (, but rarely used in the United States ( It derives from the Old English ( feowertiene niht, meaning "fourteen nights".


A little inspiration from erilaz: ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( (

oDaYWaLKeRo has shared this link >>> (

Kary shared this link on steampunk concepting >>>

03 March 2007, 11:22 AM

If one cannot use 3D apps and just want to focus on the 2D side is that okay? Would this mean that person would be out of the second week (second stage)?

I have access to 3D Studio Max 8, but I have no clue how to work it! This is my issue. I would love to go the full stretch, but with limited knowledge I cannot..


03 March 2007, 12:04 PM

If one cannot use 3D apps and just want to focus on the 2D side is that okay? Would this mean that person would be out of the second week (second stage)?

I have access to 3D Studio Max 8, but I have no clue how to work it! This is my issue. I would love to go the full stretch, but with limited knowledge I cannot..



You may split the time however you wish. If you only want to focus on 2D for the full project then that is totally fine.

Looking forward to seeing your work.


03 March 2007, 12:05 PM
I can only repeat what's been said above - FANTASTIC!
I am working on something now but will still try this... obviously a fully textured model is aiming way too high for 2 weeks buuut a shaded one's doable :D ... still considering 2d...

03 March 2007, 12:22 PM
We should try and get ideas flowing in this topic too!

Give the go ahead and I will type out some ideas from the top of my mind.

03 March 2007, 12:28 PM
We should try and get ideas flowing in this topic too!

Give the go ahead and I will type out some ideas from the top of my mind.

If you wish to contribute your thoughts to the brief, then go for it. Others who may want to do the project but are struggling for a starting point may find something useful in your interpretation.



03 March 2007, 01:05 PM

I've just spent 40 minutes on this break down of the brief, as I see it.

I usually begin with preliminary written work before I begin drawing anything. I have friends who draw stuff from the get go, but that doesn't work for me. I need to see my thoughts on paper to start with >>> in this fashion.

For this project I have chosen as my "organic" creature/character >>> A scorpion/whip scorpion type of insect. This allows me to have a menacing feel to the thing I am going to design and some iconic shapes in the form of the sting of a scorpions tail, or the arms of a whip scorpion.

From this starting point, I attached words and phrases to the creatures to gauge my personal feeling towards them. I then tried to find man made things with similar traits in character. These were found in military vehicles.

So now I have decided to design a scorpion/whip scorpion in the style of a military vehicle.

I will now start to try and apply the mechanical form language of military vehicles to the organic forms of the scorpion/whip scorpion. I have also decided after doing a google image search, that I want my character to be an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC,) as the heavy armour on APC's reminds me of the exoskeleton on a whip scorpion.

This is where I am up to so far. I hope that the above break down helps someone with a little bit about my thought process and how I tackle a brief such as this.


03 March 2007, 02:01 PM
whoa Mike,

that is exactly the kind of information and example I was hoping to find in order to get an idea of...ermm... how to get ideas..:scream:

I think I will try writing down things first, too! Sound like exactly my cup of coffee.

and as you mentioned we should write down a few of the ideas that sprung up to our minds (is that english at all? :argh: ) here's what I had in mind:

- [organic to mechanical]: 23rd century industrial watchdog

- [organic to mechanical]: Jack the robot ripper

- [organic to mechanical]: Orgasmatron 3000 premium line (on second thought the menacing atmo of the story starter combined with this one does not sound very appealing... :eek: )

- [organic to mechanical]: desert patrol mount

- [organic to mechanical]: submarine bomb disposal vehicle (might clash a bit with the story starter unless you interpret the passageway as an underwater abyss...:D )

03 March 2007, 02:21 PM
Thanks for running this Mike, and I hope to see a lot of cool work coming out of this Workshop. It's all yours, looking forward to seeing what you and everyone does here. :)

03 March 2007, 02:46 PM
Cool so what should I post? Or should i say I am a newbie in character design.... so how should I start?

03 March 2007, 02:52 PM
A little inspiration:


03 March 2007, 02:58 PM
I mean the process of character design...

03 March 2007, 03:04 PM
- [organic to mechanical]: submarine bomb disposal vehicle (might clash a bit with the story starter unless you interpret the passageway as an underwater abyss...:D )

Did you consider the vehicle might be in dry dock?
Glad my process helped you some, Mu. :)

Thx erilaz, I've copied them to the top. :thumbsup:

@ TTYO >>> You can either choose to break down the brief as I have done, or you can choose another way (there are as many ways to do character design as there are character designers.) If you feel comfortable with just busting out the pens and pencils, then I say go for it! :D


03 March 2007, 03:19 PM
You might find this one useful yourself Mike!

03 March 2007, 03:22 PM
ok I will write up a brief for my character well, this might help the storyline even more....:)

03 March 2007, 03:41 PM
The mind map is an excellent way to drop down keywords and search for an idea. I may use this mechanic myself for this one. Although I may do it in photoshop or painter and use a wacom to write :D Unlimited space!!

When I first saw it I wasn't thinking of creatures with bodies that were armoured. I was thinking about any creature and then how it may look as a mechanical being. For mine I do not think I will go for war. This day and age war is looked upon as cool, but I think I will be a tree hugger for this one.

For me the industrial age was a time of growth in the economy sector, and was a time of utility to make human life easier. So my proposal is to design something that has the anatomical structure of a creature, but is used to aid mankind.

Firstly i will think of which function I want this utility to give, and then think about a creature that will benifit from this function, or the function benifits from the creatures anatomial structure.

Secondly I will either use traditional markers, or I will go into Painter, and sketch thumbnail silhuettes of this creature I select. Each time I draw it I will add something that looks man made. Once this stage is complete I will scan in the images, and turn down the opacity of the main layer so that the ink is not as intense, and then start adding the largest details to the thumbnails I believe might work.

This is how I might start this project. I will post these marker studies once I have got to that stage.

03 March 2007, 03:55 PM

Sounds like a great journy is about to get underway.:thumbsup: Count me in on this voyage into the abysis of the deepest ocean of unforseen discoveries. :) ... Just took off the leash of my imagination...TIME TO SET IT FREE,...TIME TO SEE...WHAT'S LYING IN WAIT BENEATH THIS SEA.

Poetry is my method and vehical for creating and grasping ideas..:)

I think that for this first exercise, I will do a deep sea fish...maybe one of those with the huge spiked teeth, and florescent lanterns that dangle from thier heads, and act like a lure, tempting thier prey to come closer..maybe a two headed version..:eek: welcome to use, expand on, and manipulate my concept, in any way they may choose.

Hey know that that whip scorpion uses that whip as a chemical weapon...that whip is loaded with toxins..that's against the Geneva fair....but then again,.. all's fair in love and war...:twisted: :eek:
Looking forward to seeing everyones concepts come into being...:bounce: :thumbsup:

03 March 2007, 03:58 PM
"The whirring of cogs and the humming of moving parts reverberate in the darkened passageway. I can see blinking lights casting their illumination on the walls ahead. My breathing quickens as I turn the next corner… THERE IT IS! The new Green Turtle Ferries, what a sight to behold! This think was HUGE! It was a transport vehicle, transporting people under the sea to their land destinations. Right then I was in one of the tunnels you had to travel to so that you could walk onboard one of these things. Some day a city under the sea will take the form of this Ferrie, a TURTLE!"

So I will be combining a turtle anatomy with the structure of a vehicle that can carry people under very deep depths. It will be like a holiday ferrie where you can enjoy the underwater mysteries. It will be able to go to deep depths as deep as the sea bed. So this think has to be pressure resistant.

Just noticed glenn, you have chosen the sea too :D I was inspired by one of the deep sea books I borrowed from the library. Good luck with the two headed thingy.

03 March 2007, 04:25 PM
THANKS...Andrew....Good Luck to you also...maybe we'll run into each other, while we're down thier...:scream:
I was a lancher tech., and part of the crew for a few years on a POLARIS sub, while in the Navy as a kid years windows to see what was out there,..only the windows of the imagination...:eek: very very cold down there, in more ways than one...:)

03 March 2007, 04:42 PM
SpiritDreamer: That I may need to consider when I make this Ferrie. Something needs to be designed to prevent these transparent walls from caving in. Well seen as it is fantasy, its a new material they are using to shape the ferries translucent windows.

here is my first thumbnail. Not much, just trying to distort the turtle design somewhat.

03 March 2007, 04:51 PM
Whoa! Sound kinda lively down here.... then I might as well intro my character.....

The Flight Chronicles I: Dragonfly: The First Flyer

The Main character is Drey, a Tom, Dick and Harry Mid-Devonian silverfish and does what other of his kind does; eating starch...... dodging primitive spiders with no web slingers....

Then his village gets massacred by “walking fish” the shaman from the the Great Tree refused to believe his tales and Drey gets exiled to the "Island". Lack of much food, he gets revived by the Providence, who grants him the power to transform into the Dragonfly!

03 March 2007, 05:27 PM
I've been lurking around for awhile but really haven't posted much of my own work. Well I'd like to change that and this seems like a good opportunity to do so!

For my creature I am thinking some sort of arachnid. It would be used for repairing other machines. Probably a hand sized (maybe smaller) construct with a different sort of tool at the end of each leg. Planning to go with a junkyard kind of feel for him. Any input you guys have is very appreciated! I will start sketching thumbnails immediately.

There are some good ideas up here! This should be a lot of fun.

03 March 2007, 06:04 PM
Looks like this thread is hotting up now! I'm definately looking forward to seeing some really good solutions to this brief. :thumbsup:

My next update is a quick explination of how I am morphing the tail of a scorpion on to the body of a whip scorpion >>>

A big "Thank you" to Spirit Dreamer who provided me with photos of his lovely Whip Scorpion pet many months ago now. He assures me they are quite harmless, but I get the fear looking at them myself!



03 March 2007, 06:25 PM
ARGH, folks...!

this thread is already surpassing my expectations. Can't wait to try my pencils at a few things tonight.

Totally interesting posts by everyone...:thumbsup:

03 March 2007, 06:31 PM
Some colour studies of the chosen silhuette. The silhuette will change over time, as will the colours.

03 March 2007, 06:43 PM
HEY...Andrew....was thinking that if you are going to change the turtles basic design into a jet propelled system as your thumnail sketch shows,...why not go all the way, and make it a hybred species...half squid, and half turtle...will still have the armor of the turtle for protection from the sea pressure down there, but will also have the speed and adjellity of the squid...Plus the camaflage ability that the squid has, will act like a cloaking device, in the avent that danger should arise ... say like in the form of a two headed thing with big teeth, a search light, and a huge hunger in it's belly...:eek: :scream: ...Peacefull or not, you just never know what you will run into down there...better to be safe, than sorry, it's still a wild world down there. One that's full of creatures that have huge hungers, and will eat you if they get the chance, and if you give them the chance...just the way nature works, and is...:) ...Maybe your machine has found a world where nature does not exsist...possible I suppose, but very unlikely.. :)

03 March 2007, 08:25 PM
first mindmap... I am going to take the results of this and flesh them out in another mindmap to get to the details...

A question: I thought that character concepts are mostly clean, clearly lit presentations of a character minus the environment. The story starter implies that we should include a certain amount of environment and even storytelling.

Is that so? Or do we leave the environment out and concentrate on fleshing the lighting on the character out? Including the enviro sounds like doing a fully fledged painting to me, actually, so that thought sorta freaks me out, btw...:D

EDIT: freaks me out like in scary shit, man! :argh:

03 March 2007, 08:27 PM
This is that I have finished school gives me something creative to work on. Look forward to seeing what everyone else comes up with. Good luck !!

03 March 2007, 08:56 PM
A question: I thought that character concepts are mostly clean, clearly lit presentations of a character minus the environment. The story starter implies that we should include a certain amount of environment and even storytelling.

Character presentation drawings can be done in a number of ways, and this varies from artist to artist, and depends on the clients needs.

Depending on how far you take the project we are doing, you could produce a) Orthographics b) Turnarounds c) Character in monochrome d) Character in colour e) Character in situ.

I'm not saying you have to do all of these, (phew!) but if you are focusing on the 2D and not the 3D as I suspect you are, then the orthographic wouldn't be of any use to you. Neither would the turnarounds (You are left with the last three then.) You will need to include a scale reference that the viewer can relate to, (a graphic of a character, for example.)

My advice would be to get some ideas down of how your character will look, via thumbnails, and then try to plot the one you like most in perspective. This should provide you with a challenge. Once you've got that done, you can take it in to your favourite 2D painting package and render the hell out of it!! :scream:

Hope that helps some


03 March 2007, 09:07 PM
Awesome! Awesome idea you guys... And a great theme to kick it off too... I think I'll be going biomechanical insectoid mutant cockroach if I can commit enough time to it...

Thanks for a great addition to this community

03 March 2007, 09:32 PM

thanks a lot man for clearing that up. I think I will have to undergo several steps of increasing detail and clarity anyway and thus will just see how far (read: from monochrome study to enviro) I can take it.

I found your example and published train of thought with the mindmap a huge startup help already, man. Not only do I feel that I have a tool now to get clarity about what it is that I want to envision, it's also fun! Yay!

I figure I can always do another one to take pre-thoughts to any desired level of detail. Such a great tool! Thanks for the inspiration!

03 March 2007, 09:57 PM
This kicks ass. I've always wanted to do character design. I'm in! I need to work on my imaginative side. Might just stick to 2d for now though...

03 March 2007, 10:26 PM
Oh wow, this sounds like it'll be a great excuse for me to make a 3d mechanical dragon :)

Does anyone have any suggestions for polycount, say, if this were designed to work in a game?
Also, there's a lot of talk about normal maps being the new thing of next gen games, I've been meaning to look into that. Does anyone have any suggestions where to start with that? How would it be best to make a non-organic model using normal maps?

Who knows, I might be being too ambitous, but it could'nt hurt.

03 March 2007, 10:55 PM
Does anyone have any suggestions for polycount, say, if this were designed to work in a game?

Characters (organic biped) are around 6k tri's with 2 x 2048 maps on them, though this can vary considerably depending on the production house you are at. Without seeing your idea, it will be difficult to say just yet.

Also, there's a lot of talk about normal maps being the new thing of next gen games, I've been meaning to look into that. Does anyone have any suggestions where to start with that? How would it be best to make a non-organic model using normal maps?

Who knows, I might be being too ambitous, but it could'nt hurt.

There are some great tutorials available on-line, depending on what package you will be using to generate your normal maps in. You can make normal maps in Photoshop using plug-in's like nVidia tools, or you can use stand alone freewares like melody or xNormal and of course 3D apps like Zbrush, maya....

Just google them names and you will find stuff. As for if normal maps would be required for a non organic model, again it will be difficult to advise for anyone until we can see what you have in mind.

Hope that helps some, looking forward to seeing your work soon.


03 March 2007, 11:06 PM

to sum the above graphic up:


life-saving, light, badass, environmental protection machine for 3-5 scientists/minesweepers

combination of three animal paragons:

- calmar
- kraken
- crab

Here's my thoughts on which parts of the crab I will use for what:

@anyone: I am always fond of feedback, brake-hitting hints or question marks...:)

04 April 2007, 12:39 AM
A little more inspiration. Edouard Martinet is a master of this thing for sure :)

04 April 2007, 01:17 AM
Sounds very cool but there is no way I'll be able to finish anything in 2 weeks. I'll just observe this time around.

04 April 2007, 02:17 AM
Alright after some brainstorming I have decided on a huntsman spider for my base animal. As mentioned, I am planning to have each leg incorporate a different tool of some sort, so I chose the huntsman for his extremely long legs in comparison to his body. One of my biggest challenges I think will be figuring out how the complex spidery legs will function with mechanical parts. Posting some notes and sketches.

Kid Dynomite
04 April 2007, 03:48 AM
I'll give this a try, unless work interferes. Do we just keep posting here, or set up a new thread?

Was out jogging looking at all the stuff blooming, so I sketched out a couple of things. Will add a couple more, but I'm digging the 'Flower as Death Cannon' for now.

04 April 2007, 05:15 AM
Kid Dynomite: Awesome concept, can't wait to see that one.

Here's a sketch of the spidery body. Still deciding on exactly what pieces will go where.

04 April 2007, 05:42 AM
This is just great! Wonderful concept - I will definitely try and make time for this.
I'm thinking in the lines of something entertaining... perhaps it could be:

The whirring of cogs and the humming of moving parts reverberate in the darkened passageway. I can see blinking lights casting their illumination on the walls ahead. My breathing quickens as I turn the next corner… THERE IT IS! The Mechanical Hybrid Flower-Geisha had arrived to brighten up my last hours.

Initial quick sketch to start thinking.

04 April 2007, 08:30 AM
Hi guys
Interesting concept. When I saw it on the frontpage I was curious what is it all about so I have checked out description and some designs posted here and I have felt kind of inspired to draw couple of my own designs :)
so here it is .. but I think I will end it here with the concepts

so if anyone wants to use them feel free to do so

- Slux

04 April 2007, 09:28 AM
A little more inspiration. Edouard Martinet is a master of this thing for sure :) (

Storming website, added to the front page under useful links, thx! :thumbsup:

Good stuff by everyone else. The Mechanical Hybrid Flower-Geisha is definately a solution I would never have come up with, and proof (if ever it was needed,) that we all think in different ways....



04 April 2007, 10:14 AM
Ok one more design from me
and again if you want to use it feel free to do so

Battlefield medic

- Slux

04 April 2007, 12:27 PM
yet another design

Do you look for a way how to quickly and effortlessly harvest your large fields of tea? Look no further! Tea picker 3000 is here to help you!

- Slux

04 April 2007, 12:46 PM
Orion091 - I like how you are trying to make the mechanics behind the movement apparatus really believable. The first sketch in the upper right corner of the page with the leg mechanic brainstorming already looks pretty menacing.

Kid Dynomite - that's a pretty unique approach (you and Gunilla should team up... the electric Geisha under the death cannon tree... can't get any weirder...:scream: ) What do the "hands" do? Pick up ammunition?

Gunilla - that is downright crazy...:scream: , albeit not crazy enough for reality....


:scream: I do love the speakers in the hairdo, btw...:D

Slux - with all of your concepts you are pretty advanced already... in fact, you are actually finished with the conceptual part, aren't you? All that's left to do is rendering one of those things in either an elaborate 2D painting or going 3D... that's pretty fast work.
While the detail on the horse mechanics is pretty nice I like the bug a bit more. It sort of has more personality. I can practically hear it grumbling away while it's doing its job.
The medic did not really click with me, probably because it looks too much like a suit of some sort.
The tea robot on the other hand seems to have character again, a bit like C3-PO...:D

04 April 2007, 02:17 PM
Hi everyone,

I started playing with a concept in photoshop last night, but it didn't have the right "feel" I was looking for, so it was abandoned at this stage >>>

I've gone back to the drawing board and thumbnailed out some ideas in draft view. I usually work this way, and these drawings are of a kind I never show to anyone usually.

I've now got a "feel" I'm happier with, (the second drawing, with the twin tails of the third.) I usually do loads more thumbnails, but as we are pressed for time on these I have to make quick decisions.

Now i've got a concept to go from - I can start a tighter line drawing and go for a rendering, then on into 3D...

Hope that breakdown is of use to someone.

Great effort so far by everyone who is participating!


04 April 2007, 02:34 PM
Hi folks,

there's so much anatomy involved which I don't have the slightest clue of that I must say the workshop's well placed in the anatomy forum...

04 April 2007, 04:05 PM

GREAT DESIGN...the twin tails is my favorite also...:thumbsup:
The most interesting feature of the bug that I sent you the pictures of, is that it has two very long antanas that are really modified arms, with sensors, that act like eyes...when extended, they are about six inches long. It uses them to search out its prey/crichets...Those two arms, are actually able go around corners, and explore the other side of the surface it is on/a piece of bark in this case.
Anyway, it uses those two arms to see, then poke and prod the cricket onto the side of the bark that it is lying in wait on.
JUST A THOUGHT HERE...the whip tail scorpion, which is deferent than the bug that we have by the way..ours doesn't have the whip tail.
Anyway that whip tail on that other type of scorpion, is a modified sprays a fine mist like arosol toxin, that stuns it's prey, instead of puntureing it's victim/ it twice the reach that way, and it doesn't even have to come in contact with it's prey, which is safer for the scorpion/not the prey though..:scream:
My thought for your design, was to incorporate ..the whp tail that sprays an arosol toxin, the two longe and very slender antana with eyes/camera's that our bug has.
Those three aditions to your current twin tailed design, would make your creature truely formidable, even more so than it is now.
Would have the advantage of being able to see around corners, extend into caves/windows of buildings ect....and also be able to stun whatever it's extended eyes found hiding within their hiding place, using that long flexible slender whip tail.
Those three elements, are all very slender, almost line like, and might add a nice contrast to the thicker armored nature of your design...made wavey...they might enhace and give a better feeling of motion in your design....Like I said though, just a passing thought, as I am sitting here admirering your design...:)

Kid Dynomite
04 April 2007, 04:37 PM
Hey Rollinson,

i like your first sketch. Reminds me of shrimp. You mind if I potentially steal the idea?(not literally of course, simply expand upon it)

04 April 2007, 04:41 PM

Sooner or later I am going to have to get all technical with this.

04 April 2007, 05:23 PM
Hi all :)
wow some really creative ideas going on here, great!

my ideas seem to come in "big blocks", fully realized in my mind, the hard part being able to get the idea onto paper before another idea and gets in the way

a few thoughts on how i came to realize the idea in my head
-character a fortnight... character=humanish fortnight=no time keep it simple
-passageway...guards=humanish=simple(well maybe not simple, but have been working at)
-mechanical...robot/cyborg human guard/sentinal
-keep it simple... things i know=bones/muscles
-bones...replace with mech. frame work
-muscles...use muscle forms to shape armour
-veins... wires and things

decided to draw front and side view useing and eight head proportion scale to get things place right, later hope to do a 3/4 veiw in a more aggressive pose
used a diagram for male proportions by Jack Hamm

idea origanally came to me as female, but have been drawing them for the past 2 weeks so changed to male

oh, did some playing on blender ,LOL, lets just say i'll be sticking to 2d for some time
so all are welcome to use, expand or barrow my ideas for use in this thread

well that might be the most words ever posted at one time by me, think i'll go back in hiding now


04 April 2007, 05:35 PM
Mark: Great idea. I highly recommend you take half an inch off each side of the pelvis, otherwise your dude will turn into a... well you get my drift without me offending someone.

Mu: The Kraken, great. I am using a similar reference, the one I am using was the creature that storytellers were inspired by to create the kraken, its proper name is the Cameroceras, and was a Cephalopod mollusc in the Ordovician period. A very vicious animal and known to be one of the first ever predators.

default-rol: I actually saw a Scorpian tank in Command and Conquer Generals, a PC game, or a game I have played at least. Not to say you cannot do the same, far from it! One good resource is the first scorpians to walk the earth. Most notably the Sea Scorpian, it could grow to 2 meters in length, it was very deadly and was an all-terrain creature. Try google with the name Megalograptus.

Slux: Cool design. It appears to be an Asian inspired piece, most notably the Chinese Rise havesters. If this is so, maybe you could think of how it could have functioned under chinese control. They require cole for most of there energy, so it may require a chimney to release the waste, and also a vent to release the heat. Could look cool with an early industrial look to it.

Kid Dynomite: Would these be like defensive weaponry for fortresses in enemy territory? For me, if this was so, I would try to make it as life-like as possible, but to keep to the brief, give suggestions to the viewer that its a defense system in camo.

04 April 2007, 05:49 PM
Hey Rollinson,

i like your first sketch. Reminds me of shrimp. You mind if I potentially steal the idea?(not literally of course, simply expand upon it)

@Kid Dynomite >>> Run with it, enjoy. :D

@Spiritdreamer >>> Brilliant explination on how those things actually work, but I could keep designing for ever if you keep feeding me tit bits of info. To give me any sort of fighting chance at finishing, I'll be running with the thumbnail I've got, and fleshing it out as I go along. Thank you very much for the additional info though. :thumbsup:

Great effort everyone else, and those of you who are considering it but haven't posted >>> WE'D LOVE TO SEE YOUR WORK!



04 April 2007, 08:19 PM
Mu: Thanks for comments :) well we will se what I will do with those concepts, problably not much heh but anyway good luck with your own concept!

Fl3wk: Thanks and yes you are right it is inspired by Chinese Rise havesters :). Thats an interesting idea with the coal it could be interesting, well actualy I have been thinking that I may redesign it although I have had even more hitech design in mind but I guess that would look more like something that japanese would come up with than chinese.

default-rol: Cool design, I like that double tail scorpion

Here is just the quick sketch, nothing special
just some waiter bot

Hmm it seems that there are some battle concepts in preparation so I should rather quickly get some firepower on my side before its too late because that tea picker neither the waiter bot wouldn't cut it in the battle heh :)

So here is my Battle centaur

- Slux

04 April 2007, 08:49 PM
SLUX - Great concepts. I dig that centaur.

Working out basic proportions. I want the legs to be quite long.

I've decided to scratch the leg-tools for now and focus on a more basic leg design to incorporate. I also decided to attach welding tools to his pedipalps and give him "headlights" for chelicerae.

04 April 2007, 09:21 PM
default-rol: I actually saw a Scorpian tank in Command and Conquer Generals, a PC game, or a game I have played at least. Not to say you cannot do the same, far from it!

Originality is almost impossible these days... I've learned to live with it. LOL :scream:

I've began to model the bit I'm confident with (The gun turret.) I think I may have taken it too far away from the scorpion/whip scorpion at the moment, so I'll have to reign it back as best I can.

I'm not sure about the rocket launchers on the side as it distracts too much from the overall silhouette, (even if they are jettisonable from the main head.) Also, they are VERY poly dense at the moment and need to be optimised badly. Just trying to work out if it'd be worth the effort....

Cheers and keep going everyone! :thumbsup:


04 April 2007, 11:44 PM
Cool Work everyone.
I decided to go with a bomb shaped like a little clown toy. here is a pic of how i came to this idea. Pretty much I drew the lil clown and than from there i tryed to decide what the heck would tie it in :) I'm quite busy with work so who knows if I'll get much further with this. I'm going to try and do a little each day on it. Will see what happens...all and all its good practice for the creative juices.

Woo HOOO Clown Bombs!!!

04 April 2007, 06:00 AM
MIKE- I like what you're doing with the gun turret. I agree about the rocket launchers being a bit distracting, and thought I'd throw an idea your way.

You might try looking at the missle turrets on the Apache helicopter. I think they might work a little better with the silhouette as they're much more slender in shape. Also, they're a little smaller than the ones you have now, so you probably wouldn't lose too much time in the rebuild if you decided to switch them out.

But like I said, it looks like it's coming along great so far; best of luck with whatever route you decide to take!

Best of luck to everyone else participating as well; I've seen a lot of great work so far, so keep it up!


04 April 2007, 06:04 AM
I'll see if I can take a shot as well, fair amount for two weeks, but it's a fun topic and a good environment :).

Reading the topic I was thinking fairly straight forward steampunk ( pretty quickly. First impulse was an insect with a long boiler, but I saw that being done and realized I'd prefer to push in a bit of an organic direction if I can. Looking at this ( image really brought home some of the neat possibilities. It has been done a lot (there was a Maya cover with the same feel etc), but it's a fun look that I'd like to put a spin on.

My sketching ability is elementary, but I got down a few of the angles I am interested in:

Since so much of this is going to be mechanical I feel more comfortable getting into 3D as early as possible. I do have the sweeping curves I'm interested in noted down, and I'll try to get a few perspective notes down on paper -- might not make anyone else suffer with those via posting though ;)


Love the classic futurist robots that Slux is doing, the tea picker and waiter especially. :)

Fatebringer and I seem to be starting from a similar point. A little bit of a wider stance and a little curve to the legs might be cool, but that is a great start :). The weapon design looks interesting, would like to see how that is used. I've read Jack Hamm's book, some of the tips/notes that he has are great, but I get more out of Loomis and Vilppu's.

default-rol: Love how you've gone into detail with your approach. Very organized and clean, and I have a good idea of where you're heading from what you already have here. This is already a big thread (and I tend to pay most attention to the pictures ;)), so I missed your intended output -- I assume games as you mention poly count, but not positive, and completely missed which engine etc.

Mr. Gooch: A clown bomb... well that works on a lot of levels :) It should be a blast to see how that one winds up.

04 April 2007, 06:33 AM
@ BHerring >>> I was looking at an Apache helicopter as you posted! LOL, what were the chances.... :thumbsup: I hope you participate.

@ Kary >>> Thanks you for the steampunk link, I've added it to the front page with the other useful links. As for poly count, games engine I'm designing for etc... I'm trying to keep my poly count in the range of 12k - 15k tris. I know this is a large range, but I'm not going to beat myself up over every last poly as the model is purely hypothetical to my games engine. As for the games engine itself, I am not designing with a specific one in mind, because I won't be importing my model into one for this workshop. :D

I'm looking forward to texturing, as this is where the "magic" happens as far as I'm concerned, and I will hopefully get my poly model further on soon.

Thanks for the C&C off people, it all helps.

Keep going, some great stuff starting to turn up now!



04 April 2007, 09:15 AM
Wow! great stuff here already guys. good work.

Here are some quick sketches i did yesterday. Still not sure what to do here.

04 April 2007, 09:47 AM
looks like fun :)

I might go home and see what i can come up with..

04 April 2007, 10:06 AM
Great sketches and ideas all! It's going to be fun to follow this. I'm especially curious about the clown-bomb and the attack-flowers :)
With all this arms and evil creatures I hope my little geisha will be totally off.
Mu - ha! I can't believe you found that mech-geisha! My idea was clearly not that original... ah, well - Nothing is new. Even fot the same kind of tires that I was thinking of. Cool :thumbsup:
My sketching abilities is always an embarrasment... anyway, here's a small update.
I haven't figured out the mech details yet - I will try and solve it as I go along.
Now I will start blocking the shapes in 3d - the plan is to make a simple mesh in MAX and then add detail in ZBrush

04 April 2007, 11:04 AM
Cool this place get livelier as I press the refresh button.......

Well I will try to come up with something by tmr night......

04 April 2007, 11:20 AM
im not participating,of course,its someone else's concept,and its a finished work..
still,its a great reference for mechanical adaptation,the concept is by tim white,
and he has nice solutions for intricate complex things such as insect's legs
i think he also had a butterfly,but not as good as this one



oh..and i of my favorites,a jet snail:

04 April 2007, 03:30 PM
I had some time at work and did three quick sketches

04 April 2007, 09:29 PM

I am trying to find some strong silhouettes, mainly because I am clueless how to bridge the gap between the anatomy studies and the desired mech result. Well, it's the main point about the solution finding in this workshop isn't it?...:D

Ok, fishing in the dark here, if anyone knows anything I could/should try, please do tell me...

(My main problem is how to convert the tubular tentacles and a few other things! ARGH... *panic attack*)

04 April 2007, 09:41 PM
i start with this sketch my contribution will be 2d maybe i can manage to put textures and a bit of 3d (

04 April 2007, 11:05 PM
Apr 2, 2007

My first ideas for this concept - part fish part bird.

Really enjoying seeing all of these concepts develop.


04 April 2007, 07:26 AM
Man, Glenn, really fascinating concept. And I must say it's quite striking to realize how far you have come in 3D, really. Hit me like a baseball bat over the head... you gotta watch out with these images of yours...:scream:

04 April 2007, 08:21 AM
Nice Critters Glenn! I think you can turn that one into something really cool!

Mu - The last set of sketches looks fine - I think the way you're heading with the tentacles could work really well!

So, here's the start for my Geisha - really rough for now but at leats it shows a bit of what I'm thinking of. A wonder of beauty and grace, don't you think? :D

04 April 2007, 09:29 AM
Congrats to you all to participate to this challenge... I answer here because it's totally in my taste, even if I don't have to participate... that promise to be very interesting and with much fun... the imagination in action :thumbsup:

Don't know if that can help or give inspiration, but I've made something similar few years ago... interprating of organic things, peoples and environment in mechanicals parts...


Also something maybe useful for certains of you, the metal texture page on my website, the majority of the Ikarus textures comes of these pages... practical when is seamless...

Metallic Textures PAGE 1 (

Metallic Textures PAGE 2 (

Best wishes to you all :bounce:

(and kisses for Gunie of course :D )

04 April 2007, 10:34 AM
@ michael-olszak >>> I think it is a very good idea to try and block out volumes and mass first. you are doing this well and I look forward to seeing what you end up with.

@ Mu >>> I think your bottom 2 silhouettes are really good. You've managed to create a good contrast between complex forms (the tenticles) and the simple form of the main body. You've also got good volume ratios going, (large and simple volume : smaller and more complex volumes.) Keep thinking like this and you should come out of this first event with something really cool to show for it!

@ hermine >>> Nice atmosphere in the sketch, can't wait to see more.

@ SpiritDreamer >>> Love the "flying fish" concept you've got going here. Incidentally, I photographed some mechanical fish that were swimming about in the London Aquarium. I've included the photos below (sorry for the poor quality - low lighting conditions with a 'point and click' camera I'm afraid.)

Keep going, I reckon it could be awesome!

@ Gunilla >>> Excellent start, I can't wait to see this one finished! :thumbsup:

@ Lemog >>> I love the icarus design, and thank you very much for the links to some of your great texture library. I'm sure they will come in very handy. I hope you have time to participate in future, as you are always an inspiration.

thanks everyone, and... MORE, MORE, MORE! :bounce:


04 April 2007, 10:57 AM
Gunilla - I am loving the wind-up in the back...:scream: that should be one funny and entertaining character.

Mike -

thanks for the feedback. I wasn't aware of the contrast between volume and complexity, but that is actually one of my main problems. The head/torso of a kraken is large and, well... dull, sort of while the tentacles are intricate and incredibly complex. It's driving me insane. But to think that this contrast is something to mind and be taken care of when translating the whole thing into mech-state is a good hint.

I want to add a tail altitude steering wing based on a kalmar design and two additional long sensorical tentacles based on kalmar anatomy, too, now to the cabin and will watch out that I don't destroy its simplicity.

I also decided to probably ditch the crab paragon parts as it would make the whole task to complex for me...:argh:

04 April 2007, 12:10 PM
HEY...MR MU...THANKS..:) ....Im still a newbe, and know nothing, when it comes to 3d....just trying to have fun with it....leaving the technical stuff up to the pro's...would be fun to see this fish/bird animated and flying through the water and air, as if they were both it's natural home, without diference...but anamation is far beyond my ability..but sure would be nice to see that fish/bird in action...will just have to use my imagination, and visualize it ...I think..WOW..LOOKS GREAT...FANTASTIC..WOW...:bounce: :scream: :) ...Just kidding around here, while i'm sipping on my morning coffee, listening to some PINK FLOYD...:)
HEY...I was just thinking that your bomb disposal critter could be composed of pure fiber optics surrounded by the stuff that jelly fish are made from..imagine a jelly fish with the tentacles and abilities of an octipus, which is boneless, jointless, and can squeeze through just about anything,...this adds to it's ability to be immune to the effects of the sea pressure in the depths where it dwells ...It could just absorb those bombs, and encapulate them within it's jelly body, just like the jelly fish does with it's food...Always amazes me when I see them in the water across the street from my house, floating in the water,..they have bits and pieces of stuff/food that's visable witin thier bodies...slowly disolving, into pure energy...Your creature could be just like that, and do the same thing...desolve those bombs within itself, and derive it's energy to funtion from them...keeping it's fiber optic system fully charged...self sustaning bomb eater...:scream:
Don't know if I just made your life easier, or harder MR MU, but it was fun anyway...:scream: ....Have a GREAT DAY...MR MU...:thumbsup:

Gunilla...THANKS...Glad you enjoyed it...will do my best to take it further...:)

THANKS for the photo's Mike, and for this Great idea thread and forum you've CREATED....Fantastic outlet for the imagination, as Lemog just mentioned...and THANK YOU ALSO...Lemog....miss seeing you around....your works and thoughts are always an inspiration to and for me...:thumbsup:

04 April 2007, 02:23 PM
Hey guys,

Some cool stuff going on here, great to see. :) Just a bit of a reminder to subscribe to this thread and / or bookmark it before the plug goes off of the front page. If you don't know how to subscribe to a thread, just look here (

Keep up the good work everyone! :)

04 April 2007, 02:47 PM
I kind of like the fat guy idea so i went on and experimented with that. here are the two most promissing results.

I personally like the second one the most and will try to work it out some more.

04 April 2007, 03:23 PM
Deleted >>> double post, sorry...

04 April 2007, 03:25 PM
Hey everyone,

Just a small update from me >>> I'm working on the legs (as you hopefully can tell from the images...) I've scrapped my initial poly budget aswell, this thing is going to be BIG! :scream:

Keep going everyone, great effort all round!


04 April 2007, 03:32 PM
Nice modeling work dude. Looks cool. can't wait to see the whole thing. :)

04 April 2007, 03:54 PM
Hi guys and gals, my first ever challenge in cg talk!

Ok nothing organic about these guys but it was a lot of fun making them.

I was going to have the guy(robot) holding a surf board with boardshorts on and his dog with a frisbee.. but after reading the intro again decided to make them a security team instead! :)

not quiet finished yet.. but amost there! this is my very first attempt at robots which probably explains my "chrome" overkill.. lol

04 April 2007, 04:12 PM
Wow, spaceTik I really like that image.

I have no idea how you can be so fast, but I really like the materials you chose. The softeners between the bones (the dark grey material) makes the whole thing quite believable. You also chose a good pose for the shot.

Dayum! And I ain't got s4it yet...:scream:

again you three D guys always amaze me... I don't have the slightest clue how you go about modelling something so technical looking so accurate and not go crazy... looks cool.

04 April 2007, 04:39 PM
O.k, tiny update really >>> It can now walk as I've given it a foot.

@ michael-olszak >>> Thanks for the support. I'm looking forward to seeing it, fully finished, in the coming days too!

@ SpaceTik >>> That is brilliant, totally great character in your "mechanical man" and "mechanical man's best friend." Excellent stuff, keep going! :D

@ Mu >>> Thanks, but it isn't massively difficult. i've included a link to an amazing FREE 3D program on the first page, called blender. Check it out if you want to try, we all started somewhere. :thumbsup:


04 April 2007, 08:00 PM
hey Mike,

inspired by people's modelling I today refreshed my memory about Blender. I have been checking it out a few years ago, but I stopped learning how to model when I tried to texture my models with UVunwrapped projections - what a pain in the arse!...:argh:

but I still think it would be fun to be able to do it and I will also have to come back to Blender for my 2D animation dreams, because it's the only free tool with all the compositing features I want.

So, I figured I should just give it a new try. I would also love to be able to do a 3D model of a character in a future workshop in this café... this is starting to be a major new fav place of mine, man!

If you feel like checking the model mayhem s4hitstorm out that I have established so far check my anatomy thread out and give me a hint. Or if you don't have the time just wait til I come up with a real awkward model in Cafe 004 or so...:scream:

04 April 2007, 01:09 AM
OK this is what I have come up with so far. Abandoned subway station in New York City, a couple of kids out on a dark night to see who is the bravest. They hear a mechanical noise and whir, and of course lights.

04 April 2007, 01:39 AM
Hey guys! Everything is looking great! Glad to see there are so many participating. I went ahead and started into Maya. Here's my progress so far:

Still haven't finished the legs, but they will be fully fuctioning and rigged, with working hydraulics when done. Also have to finish up the Abdomen and his little welding torches, along with a few other accessories. What do you guys think?

04 April 2007, 02:34 AM
Thanks Mu! I learned Maya for years but this was all modelled in Modo, I find it much easier to model in.. I just started with the head and basically used the same shape for everything else! :)

Instead of modelling all the detailed tech bits, I just covered all the moving parts with rubber

so hes water resistant! lol

I havent learned to rig so ill have to manually pose them :(

looking great guys! cant wait o see them all finished!

04 April 2007, 03:38 AM
hi all

trying to get a general idea of what my robot might look like
did a quick painting of one side and pasted a reverse copy
needs alot of work and more practice painting chrome


04 April 2007, 07:50 AM
@ binksterb >>> Good start, you've got a context. Now you need to close you eyes, put yourself in the abandoned subway station and "see" what is there - then draw it FAST, before you loose the image!! Good luck, I always find it a challenge, but well worth it! :thumbsup:

@ Orion091 >>> Great model, well done! I'm really looking forward to seeing what else you add to it, if you are considering this one "unfinished." Excellent stuff.

@ FateBringer >>> Looking good, are you planning on doing full image planes? (front, side, back etc?) Will you be going in to 3D with it?

Cheers everyone, excellent.


04 April 2007, 08:02 AM
binksterb - would be easier to read if you turned it 90° counter-clockwise, man! That thing looks huge. Oh please, let it be a gentle giant...:D

What do you guys think?

I think it's looking scha-weet! The general design holds a very nice balance between high-tech and organic paragon and that's making it interesting to explore.
Only crit designwise is that while the layout of the legs looks believable and technical there's not much dimension about them. In places they look like paper cuts, barely able to carry the machine or even their own weight, you know? I think it would be better if you thickened those parts a tiny bit.

Oh, and when you rigged that thing, would you be able to do a short walk cycle or something? That would be so cool, to be able to watch a short gif of that thing hectically scuttle about....*shivers*

so hes water resistant! lol


Hey Fatebringer,

I am not sure atm, if the "armor" parts are supposed to be made of chrome, too or only the hydraulical muscle parts on the interior of the extremeties, but if yes, I would like to point out that there's a lot dark parts in chrome surfaces. It reflects its environment so well that you also see all of the areas which are not emitting light, but only themselves reflect light. There's a very high contrast of dark and light in chrome surfaces.
I figured I could just throw a few references your way where that trait of chrome is displayed in a sort of pronounced kind of way:



04 April 2007, 02:01 PM
In places they look like paper cuts, barely able to carry the machine or even their own weight, you know? I think it would be better if you thickened those parts a tiny bit.

At the moment, parts of his legs consist of nothing but planes, and there are still some missing pieces. They will definitely be fleshed out and detailed. And I agree, I think a short little animation is definitely in order!

I'm very excited to see how things turn out for everyone in this workshop. There are so many good ideas here!

04 April 2007, 02:39 PM
O.k, tiny update really >>> It can now walk as I've given it a foot.

And that has made all the difference! :D

Looking good so far. How much other machinary are you going to include with it to make it functional? As in hydraulic cylinders, pump tubing or whatever form of articulation it will use. Always makes the simple leg turn into a monstrosity itself.

04 April 2007, 06:58 PM
binksterb - would be easier to read if you turned it 90° counter-clockwise, man! That thing looks huge. Oh please, let it be a gentle giant...:D

I gave it some hopefully it won't grow too big..I realized the 90 degree after it was too late...and not wanting to feel to much like a dunce decided to leave it. Besides while my drawings are slightly better than stick figures at time my printing is at best chicken scratches at time. :)

04 April 2007, 07:01 PM
@ binksterb >>> Good start, you've got a context. Now you need to close you eyes, put yourself in the abandoned subway station and "see" what is there - then draw it FAST, before you loose the image!! Good luck, I always find it a challenge, but well worth it! :thumbsup:


Mike I did close my eyes but got dizzy...:) Thanks for the feedback will have a good 2D image next day or two...

04 April 2007, 10:31 PM
default-rol Thanks ,no 3d for me, think i'll finish up the front view than start painting a 3/4 action view /w a little background

Mu :) Thanks for the great ref. hehe yea armour is suppose to be chrome have to work on it but man that's a lot of reflection. have to see how it goes, may be have to put the robot in a very dim lit passage way. oh but you did give me a great idea :thumbsup: i could reflect a person coming around the corner in his armour, thanks


04 April 2007, 10:36 PM
Apr 4, 2007

Exploring this idea a little further
Want an armor that is able to change to match it's a cuttlefish, or the creature in the movie PREDATOR.
Was thinking along the lines of pilotless drones, that come in all sizes, from fly size, to the size of the Black Bird that the US Air Force has.
A craft that is able to desend to the farthest depths of the oceans, and also ascend to the farthest reaches of outerspace, and all that is in between kind of thought...:eek: :)

04 April 2007, 01:06 AM
@ default rol: thank you.

a little update (

04 April 2007, 01:21 AM
front,side and perspective of my design..
just basic shape....still need to add a lot details....p..

04 April 2007, 04:31 AM
Heres the first concept, I went ahead and did it anyway just for fun. Still have to put some board shorts on him, some zinc and some cool pattern on the board.. hope I get time

04 April 2007, 08:50 AM

LMAO :scream:

I want one of those!

(I mean the robots!)


04 April 2007, 09:38 AM
haha! me too!

would make a good toy me thinks.. hmm, like one of those toys you can bend into pose.

all you would need is a bendy metal for them rubber joints? with working lights for the eyes.

any1 know about toy manufacturing process?

04 April 2007, 11:09 AM
Idea has changed to a Bio-engineered Prison Complex in the deepest depths on the ocean.

04 April 2007, 11:35 AM
Fancy prison mate! where can i get a ticket? :D

04 April 2007, 11:51 AM
Hi everyone

I've got this afternoon scheduled to work on my mechanical scorpion/whip scorpion, so look out for updates later.

@ binksterb >>> Yeah, that can happen too. The alternative, I've found, is to put music soundtracks on (something Iain McCaig talks about in his Gnomon DVD series) in the genre you are working in/ with the right "feel" to it. I've done that for this project while I've been modeling, (All Ghost in the Shell soundtracks - movies and TV series - have been used.) You may want to try that if you've got some appropriate music to hand. It kind of disarms your brain a bit from trying to think about your project too much, I think. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your work. :)

@ FateBringer >>> Can't wait to see the updates, and the 3/4 view. Good stuff.

@ SpiritDreamer >>> That last image is really GREAT! Nice atmosphere you've got in that one - It looks VERY sinister. Brilliant. :thumbsup:

@ hermine >>> I'm really loving the feeling that you've got going on the legs, they feel very much like "the squiddies" in the Matrix. I hope it's friendly, or else I'd have that guy in the foreground turning and running away! Keep going, looking forward to more.

@ questionmarks >>> Tadpole! Brilliant idea!! Will the mechanical creature "grow up" over time? Will it develop more powerful legs and finally turn into a mechanical frog? If it was a manned vessel, then perhaps the owners are given a basic shell (the tadpole,) and then over time they beg, stal and borrow more components to build it up to a full frog, or am I just reading too much in to your idea? Anyway... *whistles and wanders off.* Great idea, keep going.

@ SpaceTik >>> The most chilled out mech on the planet, methinks. :scream: Great image.

@ Fl3wk >>> Cool idea to turn it into an underwater prison vessel. You might propose your finished idea to our British government to help them ease overcrowding. LOL. On a more serious note, it reminds me of an episode of Thundercats, back in the 80's, with Captain Cracker. And that can only be a good thing!

Cheers everyone, great work is being produced here.

MIKE :thumbsup:

04 April 2007, 03:55 PM
defualt-rol: The current prison situation probably inspired this manifestation. I have also recently been watching a program on Channel 4 called Animal Farm which inspired the Bio-engineered tenticles. (Would you wish to be called Michael, Mr.Rollinson, or your forum name?)

Soon I will think about details, but I think I should iron out the kind of things that make an image look yucky first: Lighting, composition, perspective, and colour scheme; which includes saturation levels and values.

The construct could be agrued as being part organic, but the influence was originally from real creatures; the organic tissue that this thing has is only human manufactured, so in a sense it is thought as being the materials of a machine.

04 April 2007, 08:22 PM
yep default rol it seems like it's taking the path of the matrix , a good path i think. i might start filling its head with tentacles then see what comes up :) (

04 April 2007, 08:53 PM
Hey everyone,

Here is the minigun "avenger" tail weapons for my mech. I'm in the process of building the tail now, and hopefully I may have it to show tonight.

Fairly lethal stuff >>> Duke Nukem would have killed for one of these... (no pun intended, of course.) :scream:



Scorpion's twin tail added. Needs detailing, but the major forms are there.

04 April 2007, 10:00 PM
nice modelling:thumbsup:

04 April 2007, 10:11 PM
Apr 5, 2007

Descending another 5000 feet
Pretty soon the only thing that will be visible is the flourescent light lantern that acts like a lure to unsuspecting and curious prey that are unaware of what lies in wait at the other end of the lure,

Thanks Mike glad you are enjoying this


04 April 2007, 10:46 PM
@ hermine >>> looking cool. Tenticles sound good, looking forward to updates.

@ SpiritDreamer >>> That image is looking more atmospheric, the deeper you are going (so to speak.) Are you planning on adding marine snow/ detritis in the water (in photoshop, perhaps?) That is all I can think of suggesting at the moment.

As for my model >>> I've started to compile it into a master file, I'm a few bits missing (which will be done tomorrow,) and I haven't begun to pose it properly. Once I've sorted the detailing out, I'll UV map and go for texturing.

Cheers - Keep going and posting everyone, it keeps us all motivated and really excellent work is starting to come through! :thumbsup:


04 April 2007, 10:47 PM
default-rol - Whoaaa! Those are some pretty wicked scorpion tails. Nicely done! Can't wait to see what the rest of him will look like.

[Edit: It seems you uploaded the rest of him while I was posting this. Looking great! Definitely a scary sight on a battlefield]

I made some progress on the spider-bot's abdomen. Not sure how detailed I will get with him.

Also, since one of a spider's main distinguishing features is its web, I've been trying to experiment with ways to incorporate a kind of grappling device, letting the bot quickly reach different areas, and also suspend itself in midair for those hard-to-reach repair jobs.

04 April 2007, 01:35 AM
Wow! those mechs are looking leathal! I can hear them moving already.. high pitch and soft whirring sound for Orions - as in Minority report spider and a heavy hydrolics sound for Mike's! Ghost in the shell style

hmm.. im tempted to make an insect like mech out of the bits from my dude :)

how long do we have left? hurry fellas!

04 April 2007, 09:28 AM
Modelling is too teknikal for me, good job on those guns man!

I have been a little busy lately, but I will try to get in an update!

04 April 2007, 11:02 AM
Hello there, :)

This thread is great! Great work everyone! I worked a bit on a concept.

Let me introduce you the amazing Jacob also known in the area of Alpha Centauri as The Feeler. His favourite dish is those Sting Light Rays you can find in your regular Off-World Sushi Bar.

It is just a quick sketch based on the hammerhead shark, but the problem is I'm not sure I'll find the time to make a more detailed one.
We'll see.

04 April 2007, 12:33 PM
Hi everyone,

@ Orion091 >>> Your mech is coming along really nicely, 2 thumbs up from me! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

@ SpaceTik >>> Ghost in the Shell, you say? I wonder, how on earth I managed to get that theme into my design *turns off GITS:SAC:OST 1,2 & 3 off from i-Tunes* LOL!! We're almost 1 week into the 2 week workshop! arrrggghhhhh.... :argh:

@ Fl3wk >>> Thank you. :) Hope you have time for an update soon.

@ Igor Sandman >>> mental design, loving the hammer head shark theme to it. Really cool and distinctive forms on that. Keep going, I reckon you are on to a winner.

Little update from me >>> Body added, still detailing and need to get all the parts to join up properly.

Cheers all,


*Little update*

Body attached to tail.

04 April 2007, 12:37 PM
HEY...Igor ....LOL.....I think he is going to be in for a huge jolt, if he ever becomes as fast as lighting, and manages to catch up with the one that I just created, and I also hope he has developed a taste for POISONS...:scream:
Oh, and one other thing, can he see what has become invisable..LOL, AND HAS DEVELOPED A TASTE FOR SHARK...:scream: :)
If he is able to leave the ocean and fly through the air, he might stand a chance of surviving the hunt, but I seriously doubt it...:scream:


Some really fantastic imaginations gathered in this thread.great to see the enjoyment of creativity happening...:bounce: :)


04 April 2007, 05:38 PM
Finished the model (Could do loads more, but time is slipping away.) I begin UV mapping tomorrow.


04 April 2007, 05:58 PM
oh folks, so many good things happening, Mike whoa! crazy machine. Looking forward to seeing it textured.

I am away from home for a few days but I took my sketchbook with me to work on the vehicle and will opst a few updates when I am back.

04 April 2007, 07:37 PM

Awkwardly I didn't have a female mesh base it on, so I did this. I am not at all happy with it, but I think "it'll do" for getting shapes for this. Then I'll rebuild a lot poly and try to get a decent shape in another sculpting generation (or 3) and get a real female figure out of it after the workshop.

For me it's a good weekend to burn into this, plenty of time and a slightly tweaked knee... so I'm in for the duration ;)


Mike: Wow you are really moving. I love how that looks... especially the profile read in the side. All the 3/4s are good. Especially upper left and bot right for me.

The area I question is the connection for the 'mandibles' at the front. I would guess that there would be a tremendous amount of force in play there and the connection into the main body seem to be a single, fairly slim, tube.

Look forward to seeing it out of 75% grey ;)

Orion091: Lovely look, very sharp detail, sort of feels believeable for modern machining so to say.

Spiritdreamer: I can help thinking of the way down deep scene from Nemo ;). The lighting is a really interesting exercise with this one, pulled it in a different direction after I was used to the modeling shots. Its been good to follow it along :).

04 April 2007, 09:44 PM
Apr 6, 2007

Little further along on this concept
Wish that I knew more about 3d than I do, would like to show the head light, antanas, tail ect. that it uses underwater being retracted making it more streamlined and suitable for flight as it breaks the surface of the water, and heads out into deep space, but will just have to imagine it happening for now..:)
Was thinking of doing a jungle scene next,...have some ideas for it hanging on the side of a tree, blending in with the bark.
Am not so concerned with it's shape for this exercise, as I am in it's ability to blend in with it's evirorment...Saw a film the other night on cuttle fish, a kind of small squid that can do the same thing that the creature in the movie PREDATOR does with that suit it wears,..only the cuttle fish does it even better, and faster...blending in.
I think that exposed joints ect are a handycap under the water and in the air..creat turbulance, noise ect, I want to keep it as streamlined as possible...just thinking out loud here, as usual...:scream: :)
Really enjoying everyones work and ideas..A week has already passed, WOW...time flyes when your having fun...but then that is a totally different concept and vision...FLYING TIME /TIME FLYING...:scream:

04 April 2007, 03:47 AM
Mike! that looks awesome man! really nice work!

04 April 2007, 05:31 AM
3/4s of the exterior shell done.
(I'm aware there is not enough brown for next gen;))

Still some important exterior choices to be made, and some areas to reconsider, but it feels like the frightening amount of interior work is in sight now.

04 April 2007, 06:26 AM
Great work everyone!

Mike - That Scorpiomech really turned out well. I'd love to see it animated, any hopes for that happening?

Kary - Interesting model. Are you going to place a mechanical skeleton inside it? It could look very cool even if tricky to set up.

Glenn - love the lighting and mood in the last one - you're really starting to get a good underwater feel. Nice!

Orion091 - that's some really sweet shapes and I really like the rendering - how did you set it up and what software are you using? It's a very good pre-viz look.

I've entered some kind of dead end phase with my Geisha now :banghead:
I will give it another go before I throw it into the never-finished-waste-bin but the time is running short now. We'll see.

Have a nice weekend all and looking forward to see what's next here :)

04 April 2007, 09:26 AM
Morning all,

@ Mu >>> Thanks. I'm looking forward to seeing it textured too! LOL. I hope you have a nice trip, and manage to get some drawing in on the journey. :)

@ SpiritDreamer >>> Is the bottom picture to show where on earth we can try and catch a glimpse of your creature? Good stuff.

@ SpaceTik >>> Thank you. I hope my texturing doesn't kill it.

@ kary >>> Yeah, I agree that the front arms are attached with only a small pivot shaft..... though it is made of "unobtanium" >>> a material with amazing density, strength and other really important properties that are relevant to futuristic mech design, LOL. I'll try and increase the diameter of the shaft before I start UV mapping this afternoon.

Your model is looking really sweet. Loving the "organic, pressed metal coverings on a mechanical man" feel. Sort of organic > mechanical > organic. Very intresting. Keep going, I reckon it'll be well worth it. are you going for exposed wires and tech on the inside to contrast the smooth surfaces of the pressed metal coverings?

@ Gunilla >>> I'm not of a skill level to rig a multi limbed mech yet, and I can't animate.... so, errrmmm...... no? LOL!! Just a model, UV mapped and textured, then posed properly for me this time round. Wow, just writing that has made me realise how much work I've still got left to do!! We've still got another 7 days, so don't give up on your idea just yet. The really good designs are usually the ones you are about to throw in the bin and then look at it again and go, "Hang on...." Best of luck for the coming week with it. :thumbsup:

Thanks everyone


04 April 2007, 01:06 PM
April 7, 2007

Gunilla...THANKS..I'm having alot of fun with this one, which really helps in the process of developement...:)
I agree with Mike about your concept by the idea always leads to another, if given the chance..:)

kary....Really like the mesh showing through in parts of your it a transparent feel...reminds me of the PREDATOR creature, when his suit kind of short circuits when he comes out of the water, and then recontitutes itself after a couple of seconds...nice effect.:thumbsup:

Mike...THANKS....If you want to find them, you will have to invent a machine that can go deeper into the oceans than anything that is out there now, and even then you probably won't be able to spot them, because of thier ability to vanish from sight and blend in with thier enviroment...:scream: :)
BY THE WAY...Really like the way your creature has come together...FANTASTIC..:thumbsup: Can't wait to see where you take it next..:)

Having a little fun with this concept this morning.
Like salmon, they are returning to thier birth place, after about a million years, to the deapths of the oceans on EARTH, to once again spawn and start thier whole cycle of life once more...:)

04 April 2007, 03:46 PM
some update...
added some detail d....but still lot more to work on...
hopefully can finish in time...^ ^..

04 April 2007, 06:14 PM
This is a simple sketch of the brain....don't know where pinky is... :)

04 April 2007, 06:29 PM
ey folks,

am a bit exhausted atm, more feedback from me later on!

here are some monochrome studies... am not sure what's next, more monochrome studies? Or work on environment shots so I can try a full environmental painting?

EDIT: Nevermind, I realized myself: i need a 3/4 view... I am busy right now constructing one with proper perspective (keeping a Loomis based chart open, alt-tabbing to and fro while silently whining to myself...:D ) and all and I am going crazy any minute, now. Result to be posted soon.

tentacle chain item



04 April 2007, 03:41 PM
Apr 8, 2007

Starting my jungle scene with this creature and its ability to blend in with its environment


04 April 2007, 03:57 PM
O.K I'm furiously UV mapping as I type, so I hope I can type in coherent sentences.

I've just been given conformation by *THE ANATOMY QUEEN HERSELF* (aka Rebecca Kimmel,) that these workshops will be allowed to continue back-to-back. So I will be posting the next workshop on Saturday 14th April. :thumbsup: >>> big "thank you" to Rebecca - You're a star, Becks. :)

@ SpiritDreamer >>> What you are doing really well is creating a scenario and mythology around your creations. This "waking daydreaming" can be a really powerful tool for adding additional design strength to the characters we will be creating from here on out. Keep up the good work! Loving the jungle environment.... but isn't it a bit of a "fish out of water" in a jungle? lol.

@ binksterb >>> Keep going. Work out this first character in more detail before trying to add "the brain." :D

@ Mu >>> looking forward to seeing the 3/4 view. Loomis was a master at perspective, wasn't he?!! (I've got 5 of his books and my copy of "Drawing the head and Hands" is signed by the master himself!) Brilliant stuff, looking forward to seeing your results!!

Good stuff all


04 April 2007, 04:59 PM

04 April 2007, 05:55 PM

A fish out of water in the jungle.. MUD SKIPPER, and CAT FISH :) ...proof that anything is possible..I quess that creature can go anywhere, and do anything that it's imagination is capible of ..LOL :)
I'm not sure what uv mapping even is, but I can't wait to see UV MAPPING at work in your design...should be GREAT, whatever it is...:bounce: :)

THANK YOU....Rebecca...:thumbsup:

04 April 2007, 06:06 PM
(I've got 5 of his books and my copy of "Drawing the head and Hands" is signed by the master himself!

ACK! It's the preciouss! We hates it!


Glenn, that idea of a universal (in more than one meanings) vehicle is totally fascinating. I fantasized about a vehicle which could carry you from the deep sea to the center of a strange galaxy in one giant leap before and I'd love to take a ride. Tell me when it's fully fuelled...!


04 April 2007, 07:13 PM
Well it's taken me most of the day, but I got there in the end...

@ questionmarks >>> That's great! What are planning on doing next with it? Will you be putting it in a pond/underwater environment? Good stuff. :thumbsup:

@ SpiritDreamer >>> UV mapping is the process of turning the 2D texture co-ordinates on your 3D mesh, into a usable state. (think of it as peeling the skin off an orange and laying it out flat on the table.) Once you've UV mapped your 3D mesh, you have a much greater ability to accurately apply textures on your mesh. In ZBrush, I think the GUV button (Generate UV's?) does it for you?

Before UV mapping >>>

Notice all the stretching of the textures? They are supposed to be squares on there!!

After UV mapping >>>

(Some more lost hair and a bit of swearing later.) Fixed.... just about, phew! LOL.

@ MU >>> LOL...

Cheers everyone.


04 April 2007, 07:39 PM

3D tech question: I understand you assembled this mesh of a few smaller ones? Isn't UV mapping a lot easier with all the single members of your Mesh? The seams on a complex model such as your scorpion must be a lot more complex than on the individual parts the thing is made of I imagine. Could you explain why you UVmapped the complete mesh instead?

here's my setup of measurements for the three quarter view... for the adequate three quarter view instead of gut-feeling my way through and ending up with something remotely resembling my inital front- and sideviews (the latter being the way I would have done this in the olde days...:D )

it's not as bad as it looks, most of the lines are hidden or having a bit of transparency applied to them.

Err, now all that's left is to actually paint that thing...:scream:

04 April 2007, 06:53 PM
-- default-rol

hei...thanks....I am not sure how I will submit it...

but most probably will be turnaround only....

since the deadline is quite near I also no idea on how the environment is....

few more update...I guess it is almost complete d...just need to touch up a bit more.....

^ ^

04 April 2007, 09:55 PM
little update,
nice 3d work everyone.:) (

04 April 2007, 03:26 PM
Firstly i'd like to say that there's some very nice work here!

...and now i'm going to throw my hat into the ring.

I've been drawing a lot of people of late (from life/photo's & anatomy studies), so thought i'd continue in this vein and attempt to use it as a foundation to inspire some character pieces. My idea was for a decaying body that was gradually being upgraded/replaced with bits of machinary; struggling to maintain a scavenger-like existence.

However, his torso looks a bit too toned and is overall quite menacing perhaps - it's a start any way.

Preliminary sketches:

Character design:

04 April 2007, 03:27 PM
@ MU >>> I'm sorry I didn't explain myself better. I did map the individual parts of the mesh, and assembled them into 2 x 2048 maps, grouping them by material, (one map for armour, 1 map for the moving parts.)

Here is a breakdown >>> my UV maps, and the shader it is assigned to:

Hope that answers your question. :D

Have you got any further with the 3/4 view?

@ questionmarks >>> My suggestion would be to composite it in a 2D package such as photoshop then, into a real environment such as a pond/swamp. Render out your shots with an alpha channel (to use as a mask) and then it will be already cut out for you, and you can just drop it straight into another scene. Good luck with the details, I'm sure they will be worth it. Good stuff! :thumbsup:

@ hermine >>> I really don't want to be that guy in the centre of your picture! My only suggestion for your image is to lower the value of your mech's purple body a bit (only 2 value steps or so,) as there is a light source behind him and that means he would be in deeper shadow than he is currently, and then try to raise the value of your little biped character a value step or two, (he is struck by light from between the mechs legs after all.) This will make your man the first read of your image, but then you will see the massive monster coming towards him... (That's only a suggestion, if you are wanting to experiment a bit.)

@ AndyO >>> Welcome aboard! Good initial idea, and a strong context - keep working on the character design as I reckon your idea is a winner. My first impression of your concept is that the guy wouldn't be able to "DIY" the bionic bits onto himself in your drawing, as they are implanted into his back. Perhaps if he was living a scavanger existance, he'd be doing it to himself, and so he'd only be mech on the front, but more human around the back? Just a thought. Good luck with the rest of the time we have left and look out for round 2, from Saturday!

Great stuff everyone!



04 April 2007, 04:38 PM
Hope that answers your question. :D

ah yes, man, it does... I was afraid for a moment that cutting seams along such an incredibly complex thing as your complete scorpion was the way to go with UVmapping and then I would have uninstalled Blender in a second...:argh:...:scream:

3/4 view probably tonight.


04 April 2007, 08:34 PM

this meager, jittery, un-impressive three-quarter view took me more than two hours, using the setup I posted above.

Pathetic, I know, but I am a noob, it can't be helped and I sort of just proved my noobishness to myself.

I will take this as a template to do another monochrome study (digital this time) and then maybe, if time allows, do a painting + enviro.


inspired by this workshop I opened a Blender learning thread over in the Blender forum. My goal is to model and render a concept in Character Cafe...errm... 053?




P.S.:Something that could be said to my defense is that there is not a straight line about the whole vehicle which makes projecting a RPITA.

P.P.S.: Yes, I know... the tentacles... one thing at a time

04 April 2007, 06:00 PM
Hey everyone

I'm on to my colour pass now and I'm having problems deciding on a way to go with it. I've 2 slightly different colour schemes in mind, but I can't work out which is the best.

Here they are >>>

Basically, do I make a feature out of the coil springs with the "hot orange" treatment, or do I stick to a more realistic approach for the colour scheme and make the full underside dark and muddy? (Not done yet, the second colour map is really rough.)

Any advice or preferences?


04 April 2007, 01:40 AM
Hey everyone

I'm on to my colour pass now and I'm having problems deciding on a way to go with it. I've 2 slightly different colour schemes in mind, but I can't work out which is the best.

Here they are >>>

Basically, do I make a feature out of the coil springs with the "hot orange" treatment, or do I stick to a more realistic approach for the colour scheme and make the full underside dark and muddy? (Not done yet, the second colour map is really rough.)

Any advice or preferences?


Hi there, I'm getting late. I see I'll have to rush into some simple concept to get along with it now.
I like your second scheme, very nice ! Just a personal preference, not a particular technical matter. Although yellowish color tend to call attention, and I think its good on a concept like that for artistic reasons.
If you put it on an nice forest environment, desert, or muddy it will look great and show up.
For realistic reasons if it's a war machine it should be camouflaged somehow depending on the environment it will act. But I still go with the second scheme that calls up attention. :D
Your concept and model are awesome ! :thumbsup:

SpaceTik - ahahhahahah wow... that made me laugh really ! Thanks for that *lol* :D
Awesome image btw.

questionmarks - I like your concept a lot. Keep it up !

Everyone doing great :) - Really nice to follow up.


04 April 2007, 05:14 AM
I'm a little late to the thread, but i've been following it since the beginning, just haven't had anytime to put something up. here is the rough model of my entry. i'll try and post the sketch tomorrow.

04 April 2007, 08:44 AM
-- default-rol

ohh..thanks for you suggestion...I will work on the environment.....
hopefully it turns out ok...^ ^...

and for the colour sheme...I will go for the second one..cause it seems more clear and interesting....

-- Djampa

thanks.....hope to see your work soon !!! ^ ^..

little update.....

04 April 2007, 08:58 AM
Hey everyone,

@ Djampa >>> Thanks for the feedback. What you said about the colour scheme was exactly why I was torn (do I go for "realistic military colour scheme, or an attention grabbing psuedo military/artistic military one?") I agree that since these things don't "really" exist, then there is no need for a true military colour scheme. Hot orange coil springs here we come then! Thx. :thumbsup:

@ marvelatthedust >>> Looking like a good, solid start. Good to know you have been following from the beginning, even if you haven't been able to participate up until now. Look out for the next round from Saturday 14th, and hope you get more chance to participate in the next one. :)

@ questionmarks >>> That's looking very nice. :thumbsup:

Cheers everyone


04 April 2007, 06:04 PM
I think this will be my final piece.....although I think it still need a lot of improvement...
but I have to work on my other stuffs d...(actually is lazy..p....)
..can't wait to see yours and others finish piece of work....
^ ^......

04 April 2007, 07:58 PM
questionmarks, I think it's lookingbeautiful! Maybe a bit too light on the highlit areas, but that's apart from your concept which is the main point about this workshop.


a quick wip of my final painting which I will try to get as far as I can tonight because I will visit a friend of mine in Hamburg over the weekend... so excited to see what the next topic will be!


the spiral is the fibonacci curve which I use to check composition and crop. I posted a Painter graphics portfolio with composition tools in the tutorials section here, in case you find that helpful.

cyall later

04 April 2007, 08:43 PM
quick update:

04 April 2007, 09:03 PM
Here I go, 2 weeks late, but better something than nothing right ?

1h 30mins here I got for elaborating a concept and do a fast sketch.
Actually I'd like to make a lot of sketches and better 2D posed. Since no time left, here it is...

I liked a lot the Tim White bee concept, but thought of something different about the same idea behind it....

Instead of making this concept as I would do for myself studies or fun, or as if I would receive the task to create some idea for a movie or ad (what I most love *lol*), here I tried to make it look like a typical professional request and try to present a solution.
Sometimes it comes out a bunch of details that can’t and won’t be seen evidently on the concept or the final product, but I think the most information you get, better to create something convincing, very especially for a movie director or script writer.

Anatomy Café Thread - CGSociety

Concept Design – from 2D to 3D.
Turn something organic into something mechanical.



General idea: Based on the actual scientific researches of this time over a spy fly, as seen on these links - and , create a very small flying device that resembles a bee and can act in multi-role tasks.

Time: Close to two hundred years from now in the future. Exact date not specified by the client.

Contextual location: Not specified.

Acting location or environment: Air or any gases that can generate enough lift, any solid surface, acting on any wide open areas or extreme small places unreachable by humans.

Technology backgrounds: Nanotechnology, biotechnology, micro-engineering.
(Consider at that time that we use 99% of the energy captured by light and even store and amplify it on micro devices at the size of human cells).

Possible objectives and functions:

Neutralize biological targets by poison or anesthetics inoculation.
Locate any kind of biological entity, place, path or device in secrecy.
Help rescue teams to find harmed ones on disaster locations, including any concealed places.
Support rescue and medical teams to save biological targets by inoculation of medicine or antigenic substances with precision and sometimes in places that a human team cannot access.
It can be used in multi-role tasks alone or in group of spy bees.
General features and devices:

Natural stealth outer shell and behavior. (resembles a honey bee)
Advanced energy systems, capable of store and amplify power for all functions, giving unlimited motion and operation autonomy.
Feed by light energy through a nano energy cell device or any alternative electrical source by external feeding through physical extensible devices (legs adapted with energy conductors).
Extreme resistant and antistatic composite materials enable reasonable fire, water, cold, energy, piercing, impact and a high pressure resistance.
Capable of flying ten times faster than a regular honey bee (regular honey bee flies at 7m/s) using navigation devices that simulates the biological bee flight. (See link:
Advanced navigating systems including radar, ultrasound, infrared sensors, magnetic based technology and other.
Composite image capture devices able to act as real bee eyes as well other image processing functions.
Generate 3D stereoscopic feedback image to its owner.
Satellite and other communication’s bridges enabled.
Relative self autonomy using a neural net nanoprocessor with advanced AI in case of loosing contact with the controller base.
It’s capable of recognizing and differentiates the different targets and accomplishes missions on its own.
It’s capable of acting on missions and communicates with other spy bees in group without human interference.
Micro LASER device of small range with enough energy to open small passages through metal shields and a variety of walls.
Retractile and highly resistant multipurpose needle with micro high ATM pressure pump. Can deliver a small dose of any kind of chemical components. If it’s used in conjunction with anesthetics it can be used in a biological target without any pain.
Energy conductors at legs used to recharge the spy bee or deliver electroshock.
High speed specially designed flap wings make the spy bee reach high speeds.
Size: 1 in / 2.5 cm

Weight: 38 grams

Maximum Speed in fly: 250 km/h / 155 mi/h

Maximum Speed in land: 0.2 m/s / 0.6 ft/s

Appearance and colors:

Anatomic resemblance with a honey bee, major anatomic differences reside on its clean shield shell and absence of mechanisms to curve the body enough as a real bee.
Colored in a honey bee pattern of black and yellow with non reflective antistatic paint (also many special chemicals not listed on the paint). It can be painted in other schemes to fit specific missions.

First sketch: (legs needs a lot of improvement)

04 April 2007, 09:09 PM
Ah folks,

I am too tired and seeing I already have a slight cold I had better go to bed, now.

It was a real joy to follow all of your concepts and take a look at the way people tackle a creative solution.

I think you established a really wonderful addition to the anatomy forum, Mike!


So, here is how far I have gotten... hope you get the idea. Feedback of any kind always appreciated. I think I will be able to go online from my friend's place to check the last entries of you other folks.

Mike, will the Cafés be open to postings after the main crowd moved over to the current Café? Like the OFDWs?

anyway, nice weekend, everybody...:

04 April 2007, 09:29 PM
Mu, great to see it coming out like that ! Very cool !
I also use a lot of Fibonacci, looks very well balanced.

Will you make it 3D too ?

Best wishes to you all,

04 April 2007, 05:36 AM
Another update. I'm still working on colors, angle, and texturing in general. Any comments are welcome.

I still need to model the middle. And a little bit of lighting and a quick background. Let me know what you think.


04 April 2007, 07:35 AM
Hey Djampa,

about 3D... not for this one. I suck at 3D. If you know 3D and Blender give me a helping hand in my Blender learning thread over at the CGtalk Blender forum...:D

maybe for one of the following Cafés

marvelatthedust - I think from a lighting and modelling point of view it is quite well done, but I am still at a loss when it comes to evaluating your concept. I can't figure it out. What is it? Sorry for being a retard.... would you mind elaborating on it again?

04 April 2007, 07:47 AM
Dudes !!! Very nice progress default-rol and Mu. You guys are awesomely active here. That's very nice to see.

Djampa - Nice man. Hope to see it finished!!

Here is my progress so far. It's not much and i don't think i can finish it before the dead line but i'll do my best.

04 April 2007, 09:29 AM
Hey Everyone,

@ questionmarks >>> That looks great - a brilliant piece for the first round. I think you should be very proud of yourself to get it to that stage from a written brief in under 2 weeks! That is not easy, you know... congratulations! :thumbsup: Hope to have you around for the 2nd event.

@ Mu >>> Love how you are using the golden section to build your composition. I never really understood how that worked until I saw "Donald Duck in mathmagic land," about 2 years ago. Who say's cartoons are pointless and uneducational?! :scream: Have you tried using loomis' method of "informal composition" to build with? I've been using his method for a little while now and I'm totally hooked on it. He really was a genius, I think. Good stuff man, and hope you get time to finish it up sometime. Looking forward to your participation in the 2nd event.

As far as I know, these events will remain open to posting after tomorrow - but I will only be posting on the current event.

@ Djampa >>> Great to see your really worked into the brief and got something out of it. I love the breakdown. You've got a good concept there, and it would be really cool to see how far you could push it if you had the time. I know you are busy, so I say leave it as an idea in your "ideas folder," and gear up for the 2nd event in a little over 24 hours. :D

@ marvelatthedust >>> Nice to see you've worked into this, and it appears very abstract. I'm not too sure you will have anymore time to work on this further, so I won't C&C it too much at this point. Hope to have your participation in round 2.

@ michael-olszak >>> That is completely crazy and reminds me a lot of Puddnhead's work, which can only be a good thing since he is brilliant! LOL. Good luck with getting him finished before tomorrow, there looks like a few hours of pencil shading in that! Hope to see you for round 2.

I'll try and post up my final images tonight. It depends on how far I get with it. I really need to finish mine tonight because I'm really looking forward (already) to working on the next brief. :buttrock: I'm pretty sure you guys will love it too.

Cheers all

04 April 2007, 11:46 AM
default-rol : Thanks for the comments ! :) I should leave that on the ideas folder, but I feel I need to push it a little more, my ideas folder is too full now *lol*.
I'm ready for the 2nd slot :)

michael-olszak : OMG ! I loved your concept ! Can't wait to see it finished ! I'd love to see done with the new Zbrush, it's a powerful image, do you 3D too ?

Mu - I just used Blender for UV unwrap, it's quite fast, as modeling there I really didn't like it, I'm more comfortable with XSI or Max, so about technical things of blender I can't help much, but the concepts of modeling are the same no matter the soft you use, correct loops for animation, edges, these things are important, so yep I'll take a look at your models and give any help I can.


04 April 2007, 12:57 PM
Thanks Default-rol. I'm doing my best but i'm afraid i won't make it. I'm really struggling with the use of colors. I'm kind of new to this whole digital painting thing so it's take me some time to get used to it. and since i never actually did make any finished work it's very hard.
Oh and yes it is kind of Puddnhead's style isn't it. Now that you mentioned it. I really like his work as well and i think it will influence a lot of my work in the future.

Djampa - thanks man. Unfortunately i don't do anything in 3D but if you want and have time for it go right ahead man.

04 April 2007, 01:43 PM
Default-rol: At the moment I cannot be involved with this workshop. Studies are in the way, but I am sure to join future workshops if they are still running.

04 April 2007, 01:49 PM
Default-rol: At the moment I cannot be involved with this workshop. Studies are in the way, but I am sure to join future workshops if they are still running.

No problem, we all know studies come first. Good luck with your work, and I hope you can keep contributing to these workshops, (even if it is not as much as you would like to for the time being. )



Well I've come to the end on this piece. It is around 55% of what I would like to have achieved with it, but we've all got to wrap up somewhere.

If I had the time (say another week,) I would properly UV map it *note to self: NEVER, EVER skimp on the UV mapping process* and then take it into bodypaint 3D to correctly paint the textures. I'd also work out how Mental Ray actually renders Normal maps and make a map for the rivets and plating on the armour that I would have liked to include on the model. (Or, I could have done that with displacement maps if I was so inclined... )

Finally, I'd build a good spec map, and make some cool "military-esque" decals/graphics to put on the surface of the armour plating, complete with scratches etc. Again, this was impossible due to the poor quality UV maps I made - without stretching being noticable.

Anyway, it's come a long way from the written brief and mind map i made on page 1. I hope that people like it, and don't be afraid to C&C away at it - I'm on a learning curve too you know! :thumbsup:

Cheers everyone, cya all in round 2.


MIKE :D *Tired, but almost satisfied*

04 April 2007, 04:59 PM
hello, i try to arrange the lighting thing and now its a bit better, this is my final wip too, i kind of satisfied with it but not too much either, i'll be glad to participate in another workshop, it's nice to work among other people works and with deadlines.
bye:) (

04 April 2007, 05:15 PM
It's been great to watch this, it's a shame that the timeline did not work out out for me to be more participatory :( I wound up remarkably busy for three days and it's completely blown out my ability to get much of the internals on mine down (and you nailed it Mike, it'll be exposed mechanics for the inside). Hopefully get some of it done tonight, and I'll finish it up and post the final here in a few days.

Great thread to follow, a ton of variety and quality work to see come together :)

04 April 2007, 09:05 PM
michael-olszak: Thanks ! :D I'll be starting a lot of studies and some artworks with Zbrush by the beginning of next month at the Cinema School, I'm very fast with that software, will put it as one of the personal projects along with it, and sure I'll have a time for that.
We keep in touch.

Default-rol: Oh my... It is great ! I can see how it would come out if you had one week more.
What I most like about the concept theme and how you did yours was the fact of getting very organic lines and turning it into very hard mechanical lines.
Your machine is very strong, inspires fear and would work perfectly as it is in a game like command & conquer for example. This is really awesome to follow you up with the creative process. Thanks for this opportunity.


04 April 2007, 02:32 AM
Here is my completed image. As well as my original drawing. The drawing is based off a kidney bean. Orginally I was thinking more of an animal but all the cool ones got taken. :) Then my wife came up with the wonderful idea of a kidney bean so... I did. Sorry if it's a little confusing. Modeling is not my strongest point.
C and C is welcome.
Thanks and I'm looking forward to the next project!

04 April 2007, 03:24 AM
-- Mu
thanks...ya...I also think that it's too I fix it in the latest image below....
are you MU fan???

-- default-rol
thanks....but what is the 2nd event???
your work looks great....but I think maybe can make a few changes to the fully black shader..cause it covers up all the details of the gun and the joint part...I think it will be more interesting and stand out if it is a metallic shader or maybe not totally black shader..
just my own offend... :thumbsup:

I have made a few changes to my work after seeing an artwork in the 3D choice gallery...Fall, zhu tianyi.....took it as a reference...but can't achieve what she did....lll....
this is the final,final,final piece... :)

04 April 2007, 09:04 AM
Hope to see you all in the 2nd Event >>>

MIKE :thumbsup:

04 April 2007, 03:19 PM
well done guys! i got real busy with work and couldnt finish mine.. but it was a lot of fun participating. Some really good works in here! and Im sure every1 learned heaps as I have.

Ill finish and post it later..

thanks and see you all in another challenge!

04 April 2007, 03:41 PM
are you MU fan

questionmarks - I don'T know any Mu, but me...LOL...:scream:

should I be?

Mike, great how far you have come and I am looking forward to how you will set priorities in the next workshop for your 3D work.

04 April 2007, 08:42 AM
Default-Rol - Dude. this looks amazing man. Awesome modeling and texturing work.

Djampa ( - Sure man. Thanks.

everyone good work here. I'm really looking forward to the next one. I thing ther theme is awesome and can't wait to start drawing :)

Here is my final piece. It's not finished yet but i thought i'd post it anyway.

Good luck and see yah all at the next one.

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